There are several different varieties of jasmine available as an essential oil/absolute. Jasminum sambac is known for its heady, rich scent that is, perhaps, not as sweet as “traditional” jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum). Here is a closer look at Jasminum sambac.
Botanical Profile of Jasminum sambac
Jasminum sambac belongs to the Oleaceae botanical family. It is noted for its extremely fragrant blooms which are used in aromatherapy or perfumery practice. In addition, Jasminum sambac has important cultural status in countries such as Indonesia.
Jasminum sambac has origins in southern Asia but has spread to many tropical climates, such as Hawaii and Florida in the United States, because of its ability to flourish in such environments. It has white, fragrant flowers that are situated in clusters. The leaves of Jasminum sambac are green and ovate.
The plant is a vine or a shrub that can grow up to ten feet in height. It is a perennial, evergreen plant in tropical climates. Jasminum sambac does not require excessive water and can survive in dry climates with medium water. Cultivars can survive freezing temperatures in some regions and will return to bloom in the summer months.
Using Jasminum sambac in Aromatherapy and Perfumery
The highly fragrant blooms of Jasminum sambac are prized for use in the perfumery industry. In addition, Jasminum sambac is sometimes used in aromatherapy practice; it is reputed to have anti-microbial properties. It is used a lot as an aphrodisiac and emotional issues. Jasminum sambac is usually available as an absolute, due to the minimal quantity of oil produced from its flowers – making it an expensive commodity.
Use of Jasminum sambac in Other Countries
Jasminum sambac is used by various Eastern countries for a number of purposes. The Chinese use the dried flowers of Jasminum sambac to make jasmine tea. In India, the flowers are used in garlands and in Indonesia Jasminum sambac flowers are used extensively in weddings. Indonesian culture regards Jasminum sambac as a sacred flower of purity and sincerity. Jasminum sambac is also the national flower of the Philippines.
Growing Jasminum Sambac in your Yard
Jasminum Sambac is an easy plant to grow in the yard or in a pot in tropical climates. In states and countries where frost persists, Jasminum sambac will die back in the Fall and return in the Spring, controlling its ability to spread excessively.
Jasminum sambac is a beautiful fragrant flower to enjoy both visually and aromatically in climates conducive to its growing requirements. However, check for local restrictions on its use and growth before planting.
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Purdue University website, Jasmine, accessed March 7, 2016
Learn 2 Grow website, Jasminum sambac, accessed March 7, 2016
Eden Botanicals website, Jasmine Sambac Absolute, accessed March 7, 2016
Author is a UK-certified aromatherapist, published author in aromatherapy, an approved education provider for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), an aromatherapy business owner, and Chief Editor for the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.